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Arda Yalkin

The Circle Jerk

Gaia Gallery, Istanbul

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Première
Artist
Arda Yalkin
Title
The Circle Jerk
Year
2016
Duration
9 min 30 s
Format & Technical

7 channel installation, HD video, colour, sound
Edition of 5 + 1 AP

  • Music: Selin Damar
  • Voice: Aslı İçözü, Yİğit Kirazcı
  • Text: Akın Tek
  • Produced by: Gaia Gallery
  • Postproduction: Arda Yalkın
  • Sound mix: Arda Yalkın
  • Photography: Arda Yalkın
  • Make-up: Hande Şekerciler 
  • Costume design: Hande Şekerciler 
  • Animation: Arda Yalkın
  • Cast: Aslı İçözü, Yİğit Kirazcı
  • Special Thanks: Gönül Nuhoğlu

The work, made up of eight screens, sets the mise-en-scène for a business meeting and displays the final conversation between three applicants and two managers. Portraits of these figures will be reflected on separate screens and the table in the middle will occasionally function as a screen. These screens in the centre will be complemented by two larger screens as in between brackets.

Even though one expects the work force to be benefitted whenever capitalism topples into recession, the benefit always ends up favoring the capitalist system due to its capacity to adapt to the new circumstances. This video installation explores the white collar workers’ dream of accomplishing the goals that are set for them through the perspective of the ruling class by following the obstructions that are set for the white collar workers, whether they are aware of it or not, and examining the way in which they contribute to this system, both consciously and unconsciously. Therefore, the plot also reveals that the creators of this work are also inevitably part of the system they are looking at. The assumption that things will worsen as slavery cedes its place to hourly wage is accompanied by images of a plantation and contemporary offices. The images of identification tattoos in plantation fields are associated with the badges used in contemporary offices. Slavery work charts are associated with job application forms, amongst many other similar parallels. As the video continues, we watch the applicants taking part in so-called rebellious and conscientious weekend activities. The irony of their futile attempts at rebellion is intensified as the images mentioned above move to the screen behind the managers. The images, which can be seen through the point of view of the applicants at this point, triggers of and accelerates their liberation attempts. However the managers turn their back and laugh off these images as a big hand holding a remote control appears and switches off the screen.

Stills